VAT refund scheme: 4 conditions for UAE retailers to register in system

VAT refund scheme: 4 conditions for UAE retailers to register in system

Dubai - The Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists will come into effect this year.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 23 Sep 2018, 1:21 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Sep 2018, 10:26 PM

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Saturday announced four conditions for retailers to register in the digital system of the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists, which will come into effect as of the fourth quarter of this year.
The FTA set condition that the retailer must be registered with the FTA and have a tax registration number (TRN); the supplier's sales of goods must not be excluded from the refund scheme; the retailer must submit a request to participate in the Scheme as determined by the FTA; and finally, the retailer must meet the financial credit requirements specified by the system operator and be committed to submitting Tax Returns and paying due taxes regularly.
The Authority is implementing the Scheme in cooperation with Planet.
In a press statement issued today, the Federal Tax Authority cautioned that a retailer's membership in the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists would be revoked if they fail to meet their obligations, whether those stated in tax laws or in the contract between the system operator and the retailer.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general, Federal Tax Authority, asserted that the past few days witnessed a great demand for registration in the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists.
"The system operator will coordinate between retailers registered in the tax system and wishing to register for the Scheme, connecting them with ports of entry and exit all around the UAE," he explained.
"This, in turn, allows tourists who are eligible for a tax refund - as per the terms and conditions of the Cabinet Decision - to request a refund for taxes incurred on their purchases through a state-of-the-art digital system."
He said Planet will make agreements with retailers to equip them with the technologies needed to be part of the Scheme, which link these business to the digital systems of the Federal Tax Authority, as well as airports and land and sea ports. The Scheme creates designated places for tourists to apply for a tax refund and easily recover the eligible refundable amounts, which will be accurately calculated through the advanced digital system.
The FTA is hosting a meeting on September 25 in Ajman in an effort to maintain direct and constant communication with businesses, and introduce them to the terms and conditions for registering in the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists, Al Bustani added.
"We have seen strong enthusiasm from retailers, outlets and shops across the UAE to register for the scheme, and look forward to seeing registrations grow," said Gary Byrne, director of Worldwide Strategic Partnerships & New Markets at Planet.
Nimish Goel, partner, WTS Dhruva Consultants, said in line with the best global practices, the UAE has also adopted a key measure to allow refund of VAT to international tourists. However, the key shall be the implementation i.e. educating as well as on boarding retailers and an efficient mechanism to grant refunds to tourists.
"Looking at the latest initiatives and developments from FTA, I believe this will continue to support the tourism in the country," Goel added.

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